"She wants to be the top women's pro golfer. That's her ambition," said a longtime neighbor of Vienna's Joann Dost, a member of the LPGA circuit. "She's just waiting for the day when she can beat all of them."
Dost is the Washington area's only representative on the LPGA tour. She is coming off her best showing last week in Toronto, where she fired a six-under-par 67, tied for the second-round lead and eventually finished eight to win $2,502 Dost (hhymes with most) is currently 59th on the LPGA money list with $4,075 in 10 events.
Dost, 27, follows the LPGA sun in her off-white customized van, equipped with floor-to-ceiling carpet, TV, CB, stereo and oodles of golf and photographic equipment.
"The van puts me in a good humor," Dost said, although she conceded that driving 40,000 plus miles a year lends itself to what is sometimes "a very difficult life."
Last Sunday, after a full day on the course, Dost left Toronto at 7 in the evening and arrived in Detroit and 1 a.m. She slept and left at 9 in the morning and arrived in Cincinnati at 3 in the afternoon - and then practiced.
Still, Dost loves golf and the people in the game. She recently moved from an apartment in Orlando, Fla., to Pebble Beach, Calif.
Dost, said longtime Vienna neighbor Helen Demory, has always been a standout athlete. Her father was a speed-skater and her brother played minor league baseball.
Demory recalls that more than 15 years ago Joann had been selected for the Vienna Little League, until she took her cap off and the coaches discovered a girl.
Compared with other LPGA tourists, Dost took up golf at a late age, 17, when attending Madison High School.
"I went to Island View (now Algonkian, near Sterling, Va.) with my father," she said. "The pro there, Morgan Tiller, saw me hitting some balls, and said I had some potential. He worked very hard with me. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be out here."
Dost whittled her handicap to two in just two years and in 1968 won the girls Maryland State, Middle Atlantic, D.C. and Tournament of Champions titles.
For the last 2 1/2 years, she has been tutored by Lee Trevino. "He's really an eat person. He helps me mentally," she said.
Of phenomenal rookie Nancy Lopez, Dost observed: "Some people let success go to their head. She doesn't. She's a very mature 21-year-old. If you saw her on the street, you would never know she was a great golfer."
Dost plans to keep on truckin' after that little white ball. "There's no real guarantee on what you can make out of it. Last week was a good experience. Next time I will learn from my mistakes."
Mayor Walter Washington, former 'NFL players Roy Jefferson, Ted Vactor and Willie Wood, active footballer Reggie Rucker and Cleveland Cavalier Austin Carr are among those entered in the Capital pro-am golf tournament at Langston next Sunday.
Proceeds will go the Joe Whitfield Scholarship Fund to send selected city youths to college. Those interested in contributing or playing should contact Langston head pro Joe Whitfield at 398-6005-6.